Ball State University junior Isabelle Behrman has been
awarded a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, one
of America’s most prestigious scholarships for undergraduates who
intend to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
Ms. Behrman will receive $7,500 toward her educational
expenses next year. She is majoring in Chemistry (with an American Chemical Society
concentration) and Spanish.
After pursuing a doctorate in molecular engineering
or material science and engineering, she plans to launch a research career
aimed at creating environmentally friendly and biodegradable materials. Specifically, she hopes to work on developing
new packaging materials to address problems of plastic creation and waste.
At Ball State, Ms. Behrman has been working in the lab of
Dr. Robert Sammelson—chair of
the University’s Department
of Chemistry—since the end of her freshman year. In Dr. Sammelson’s lab,
Ms. Behrman has been helping conduct research on a newly developed acid.
“Over the past two years, Dr. Sammelson has served as a
mentor and invited me to work with him on research opportunities,” Ms. Behrman
said. “He has been extremely influential in my success, nominating me for the
Ball State Top 100 Students and writing a letter of recommendation for the
Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.”
Ms. Behrman is a Muncie, Ind., native and a graduate of the
Indiana Academy for Sciences, Mathematics, and Humanities. She is a member of Ball
State’s women’s tennis team. Ms. Behrman also serves as a supplemental instructor
in Organic Chemistry. Selected this year as one of Ball State’s Top 2 Students
in the University’s inaugural Top 100 Student Awards program, Ms. Behrman
anticipates completing her undergraduate degree in three years.
Ms. Behrman is the 13th Ball State student to
receive the Goldwater Scholarship, while nine others have received honorable
mention. Many of these graduates have gone on to win other prestigious
scholarships and establish impressive careers in STEM research.
Established in 1986 by the
U.S. Congress, The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and
Excellence in Education Foundation serves as a tribute to the late Barry Goldwater,
a military veteran and U.S. Senator from Arizona.